Secured by Design National Building Approval – saving time and money for developers

Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative, has been promoting better security in the built environment for almost 30 years – constantly adapting its guidance to keep pace with changing patterns of criminal behaviour.

SBD was set up following the housing boom of the 1960s-1980s when there was a huge and urgent demand for housing. Estates were built quickly and often cheaply with little consideration given to security. Sky walkways and subways were incorporated into many large estates to keep apart pedestrians and the rapidly growing number of vehicles. However, this created an environment where escape routes were everywhere, anonymity was absolute. Crime increased significantly, particularly burglary.

In 1989, SBD was established by the UK Police Service to ‘design out crime’ in a two-fold approach: to use proven crime prevention techniques built into the layout and landscaping to increase natural surveillance and to limit through movement; and to work with manufacturers of products, like doors and windows and all their component elements, to make them more robust to physical attack.

With its national network of police officers and staff in the 43 Police Forces around the UK, SBD trained Designing Out Crime Officers work closely with local authority planners, architects, developers and builders as well as manufacturers to promote the need to make homes more secure to reduce crime.

SBD developed a Police Preferred Specification – a high product standard which requires certification from a UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited independent third-party certification authority. This involves regular production audits and re-testing over time to ensure consistent quality, going beyond the one-off security testing required by Part Q of the Building Regulations, England, which became effective from October 2015.

The latest scheme, SBD National Building Approval (SBD NBA), makes it significantly simpler, quicker and cheaper for development companies and organisations commissioning building work, like housing associations, to meet the security requirements contained in the Building Regulations.

After developers agree the basic level of physical security to be provided before building work commences, SBD carries out due diligence on the developer’s supply chain to ensure their products are tested and certified to SBD standards. This needs to be done only once because the agreement forms the security criteria to be met by that developer for all SBD schemes whenever and wherever they register a new site with SBD – without having to seek a separate agreement with that area’s Police Force.

SBD’s work with the Department for Communities and Local Government, National House Building Council, Local Authority Building Control and the Building Control Alliance means that the SBD NBA can be used by developers as evidence to discharge their third-party obligations under Part Q of the Building Regulations.

Today, tens of thousands of residents have moved into new homes and benefit from SBD standards of security. Also nearly 600 companies, many of them leaders in their specialist fields and operating on a UK, European and global basis, are SBD member companies having attained SBD accreditation for their products.

Independent academic research shows that including crime prevention measures into the built environment and accredited products can reduce crimes like burglary by up to 75% in new-build homes and up to 63% in refurbishments. Evidence suggests these figures are sustainable year-on-year.

For police and local authorities, falling crime reduces demands on services and enables them to focus on other priorities. With more robust products, SBD also frees up budgets by reducing repair and maintenance costs as well as providing a long-term legacy of safer, more cohesive and desirable communities, where people choose to put down roots.

Find out more about the benefits of the SBD National Building Approval scheme visit:

Westcoast Windows
Westcoast Windows are pleased to hold a Secured by Design licence for our Swedish designed and manufactured composite windows, doors and sliding doors, which demonstrates not just successful testing to PAS 24:2016 but also compliance with Building Regulations Approved Document Part Q.

Find out more about our Secured by Design security accredited composite windows and doors – download our SECURITY DATASHEET or visit our website:

Secured by Design
Our aim is to achieve sustainable reductions in crime through design and other approaches to enable people to live in a safer society. SBD is the only way for companies to obtain police accreditation in the UK.

Tel: 0203 8623 999



Our promotional film:

Secured by Design National Building Approval – saving time and money for developers
Secured by Design National Building Approval – saving time and money for developers